Pictured above: Cliff (a Nurse helping save the world in Doctors Without Borders--just back from Haiti!), the innkeeper (me), and friends and guests at the 2nd Anniversary Party and Gallery Show--April 28, 2010.
Greetings, Blog Friends.
JB, my visiting friend from San Francisco, wanted to hang the art work he had painted on his visit to Western Maine. Well....the thought of hanging art on walls developing into a lavish event for 60 guests became apparent quickly, but came with mixed feelings. The 2nd Anniversary Party and Gallery Show had become another folder on my desk!
First, when it an innkeeper closes down an inn (insert multitude of reasons here), it is usually for some "R&R." My friend was coming to visit, I had some projects that required his creative assistance, and physically I was starting to fizzle out (not a good sign before the busy Summer and Fall). The added duties of developing a guest list of friends and business associates, planning a menu, buying all that food, prepping it, serving it, cleaning up after it...well, you get the point! It was like driving a car across country with "E" glowing on your car's dashboard!
Planning the menu with JB was a joy. I enjoyed this portion the most. He is experienced in the kitchen and can toss back and forth foodie ideas easily with me. I've written about party planning many times in the past and I always say: "Keep it simple but with WOW!" Wow can mean "tasty," "forward thinking," "presented it a really cool way," or "this food reminds me of __________." I live for all of these, of course!!
Anyhow, blending JB's West Coast influence with my American Home Cooking passion--and intending on a Springtime menu, our menu included: Shredded Chicken Tostadas (those George Foreman grills are great!), Spring Soup Shots (cold & deliciously fruity with a Post-Prohibition splash of Kirsch liqueur), Bacon Wrapped Fresh Pineapple with Maple Drizzle (ye olde stand-by), and Maine Potato Cakes with Tomato Compote. Our food production methods were a little different--I led, he led, I prepped his vegetables, etc. We "danced" as a well-oiled machine during the production. Two days of prep for a two hour party! (Attention Inn Shoppers: "We're selling flavorful dishes full of Love here!" LOL).
The party happened, long story short. My Mom and my oh-so-cool friends, the Pinkhams (former owners of Inn at Long Lake), the plumbers, and the friends of my friends all gave my heart a feeling of being so blessed. They showed up to celebrate my 2nd Anniversary. Heck! They helped me get here in the first place! My part was actually easy---it was to thank them all for being there and for being a part of my dream. JB, the staff, and I cleaned it up, reflected over a late night cocktail all the laughs and conversations the night had held for us. I slept well that night.
JB's amazing artwork now hangs in Inn at Long Lake. I will try to post these on this Blog. Until then, our front door welcomes you always and you can see them in person!!
Until the next Blog posting----Thanks so much for reading and think of a nice party for those who give your Life so much more!
Your Maine Innkeeper,
Keith A. Neubert